leader-manager’s role as a systems thinker

leader-manager’s role. In this role, the leader-manager adopts a broad and complex perspective to make decisions and policy choices that take into account the many facets and dimensions that make up an educational organization.

The vast collection of literature regarding systems thinking is drawn primarily from the natural sciences, and typically describes an organization as an integrated set of processes that have been systematically structured to carry out objectives defined by a mission and vision. As you will discover in your work in the EdD program, the systems view is fundamental in guiding your development though your doctorate and beyond.

Extensive Literature

To introduce you to the extensive literature, you are invited to begin your exploration with a familiar system of collecting and organizing knowledge, the encyclopedia. One of the most well-known and respected is, of course, the Encyclopedia Britannica, a huge multi-volume work that was until recently the staple source for elementary school reports and high-school term papers. With the dawn of the Internet, however, other forms of encyclopedic knowledge systems such as Wikipedia have largely replaced the earlier forms.

The advantage of electronic knowledge systems, of course, is the speed and convenience with which they can be accessed, and the continual updating of their information. Their disadvantages, particularly for scientific and scholarly purposes, rest in the relative obscurity of their methods of quality control, methods which for centuries have rested on a concept known as peer review.


academic writing is intended to show that judgments and conclusions are based on a critical analysis of the literature. Although the term literature includes a variety of sources such as news media and the trade and professional press, it is primarily the sources that have undergone the process known as peer review that are acceptable for citation in academic papers. What then, is the place for an encyclopedia, and particularly for electronic systems with encyclopedic capabilities such as Wikipedia?

Internet Search Engines

  • Use search terms to find general information and a list of sources.
  • Read articles and explore search results to find ideas and concepts that appear relevant to your academic needs.
  • Critically analyze the articles and sources to discover their relevance and validity.
  • Identify any peer-reviewed sources contained within articles your search found. Examine the peer-reviewed articles as the focus of your reading and analysis.
  • In short, used properly as part of your initial search, an electronic encyclopedia can increase the range of your awareness of sources, and make finding them more efficient and more effective.

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